What is the key to developing flavor in our breads? We don't seem to be getting a good flavor especially with no-time dough additives.

Flavor comes from long, natural fermentation. The first fermentation period is the most important; try 1-hour minimum. With longer fermentation times, use less yeast. In a normal dough, 2% baker's yeast is a starting pint. Work down there.

At the end of the mix, dough should be 75F-76F, the ideal range for yeast activity. use more water; the optimum hydration rate depends on many things, including the moisture content and quality of the flour.

Finally, use lower protein flours. The lower protein flours have better tolerance to long fermentation and help rpoduce good crumb structure and a natural flavor in the end product.
Excerpted from "The Workbench" of Modern Baking -- misplaced actual reference but within 1995-2005.



Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012.